I'm the weirdo at your holiday family gatherings who HAS to have apple pie. I'll choose apple pie over pumpkin pie every time. I turn down offerings of chocolate morsels in favor of apple pie with caramel sauce. Oh, Aunt Sally made a peppermint cheesecake? That's great and gorgeous, but tell me... will there be apple pie? Yea. Like I said, I'm the weirdo.
Considering my absolute devotion to the tasty fruit and caramel dessert, you know I have to try and find other ways to enjoy it. I've had an Apple Cinnamon Monkey Bread birthday cake before, and I'm thinking it's going to be happening again this year (FAMILY! I hope you're reading! *Hint hint*). But having apple cinnamon-y things on holidays and birthdays just isn't enough for me.
I give you Caramel Apple Cupcakes. You can make a cupcake out of anything. So why not an All Star Dessert of your dreams?
These fluffy cinnamon cupcakes are filled with a sweet apple pie filling, all topped with a caramel whipped topping and caramel sauce. Yes, I said caramel whipped topping. I went there.
Let me just tell you a short story to demonstrate how addicting these guys are. When I was had finished testing, retesting, writing and shooting this recipe, I had an insane amount of giddiness about it. I was a crazy person in my kitchen talking to myself and humming about how delicious this was turning out. My husband gave me some funny looks that morning until I let him try a finished cupcake. He sure changed his tune real fast: "I don't want to share these with anyone, okay? Let's keep them for ourselves," he said half jokingly. He doesn't like cinnamon desserts. He doesn't love caramel and apple desserts. But he knew I was about to call the family in a frenzy and tell them to come over and taste a few, and he wanted to make sure he got them all to himself.
Just like I couldn't wait to call my loved ones and share these with them, I can't wait for you to make these to share with your loved ones! Maybe just make sure you set a few aside for yourself. You gotta just do YOU sometimes, and this is one of those times.
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp butter (room temp)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 whole egg and 1 egg white (room temp)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
- I0 oz apple pie filling
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
Caramel Whipped Cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipped cream, separated
- 3 Tbsp Caramel Sauce
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and set aside. In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fully combined and fluffy. On medium speed, add the egg and egg white one at a time, mixing in between. Beat the vanilla into the mixture.
2. Add the dry ingredients in three "doses", with two additions of the milk in between, alternating. Beat the batter. Only mix until just combined or the cupcakes with be too dense. Scrape the sides down when necessary.
3. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and pour a little batter into liners; I used about half of a standard sized ice cream scoop. Take your apple pie filling, and chop the apples into smaller pieces. I honestly stuck my scissors in the bowl and started snipping; it's just faster and a bit easier. Create little divets in the batter (like you do with mashed potatoes for gravy) without revealing the liner at the bottom. Put small dollops of apple pie filling into the batter, trying to get more apples than filling. Top the filling with more batter, making sure to cover all the filling.
4. Bake in preheated oven for about 17-18 minutes, or until you are able to stick a toothpick into the cupcake (a little off of center to avoid pie filling) and remove it without batter. Times may vary slightly by oven. While cupcakes are baking, start making Caramel Sauce.
5. For Caramel Sauce, make sure you have all ingredients ready as this is a bit of a fast process. Start with sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat, mixing constantly with a whisk. You'll see the sugar start to stick together with little caramel colored bits. Keep mixing until all the sugar has dissolved completely and it has turned a caramel color liquid. Add the butter and be careful; it will start to bubble instantly. Keep whisking until all bubbling subsides and the butter melts. Turn the heat as low as it will go and add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Stir until combined and remove from heat to let cool. It will thicken as it cools, so if you come back to it later and it's a little too thick to work with, heat it through again over the stove until it loosens. In order to make the Caramel Whipped Cream, the caramel can not be hot.
6. For Caramel Whipped Cream, place 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in the mixer and whip until stiff peaks start to form. Add 3 Tbsp of the Caramel Sauce you just made and whip until fully incorporated. This will look a little bit runny for a cupcake topping, but don't worry. Take this mix out of the bowl and set aside. Now whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until light and fluffy, and gently fold into the caramel/cream mixture.
7. When cupcakes are done, remove from the oven and set the muffin tin to cool, about 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and set on a cooling rack. After cupcakes have COMPLETELY cooled (about 20 minutes on cooling rack), pipe Caramel Whipped Cream on top and drizzle with Caramel Sauce.
8. ENJOY and post with #perfectleehungry!